Expert claims Welsh fintech scene ‘among UK’s most active’

The Welsh fintech scene is now one of the most active in the UK thanks to its innovative talent pool and growing investment opportunities.

That’s the claim of Craig Blackmore, who works as director of business at Cardiff-based advisory firm Verde Corporate Finance.

He has praised the nation’s adoption of financial technology, saying it’ll have “significant benefits for Welsh businesses” in the years to come.

The finance specialist, whose firm advises on areas such as mergers and acquisitions, business finance and growth capital, has spoken out after Wales was highlighted at the 2018 UK Government International Fintech Conference.

Held annually, the event is a chance for financial specialists, businesses and government officials to get together and celebrate the success of the UK fintech market.

Cardiff was especially praised for being an incubator for some of the UK’s biggest and most progressive fintech companies, including the likes of GoCompare and Wealthify.

Blackmore isn’t surprised that Wales has been positioned as an industry leader, given the level of activity happening across the nation’s fintech scene.

“Wales is absolutely leading the way when it comes to hosting one of the most active fintech ecosystems in the UK,” he said. 

“We are at the forefront of investment when it comes to fintech innovation when compared to many other regions across the country.

“Over the past year we have seen significant growth in fintech investment, and the signs are that it will continue to grow and receive much higher levels of investment in 2018.”

He said the Welsh fintech industry is leading in areas such as skills. “Our success can also be attributed to the industry-leading talent pool we have here in Wales, which boasts considerable technical and entrepreneurial skillsets,” continued Blackmore. 

“Finally funding hubs such as the Development Bank of Wales provide opportunities to Welsh fintech start ups, and firms, that are largely without comparison across the country and encourage greater creativity and growth in the sector.

“Their recently launched £20 million Wales Technology Seed Fund is set to have a profound impact on the fintech sector and will continue to set Wales apart as a UK leader.”

Recently, Blackmore spoke about Wales’s progressive fintech vision at an international roundtable discussion chaired by professional service network IR Global. It attracted specialists from Europe, the US, Hong Kong and South America. 

“I think it’s essential that this fintech growth and prosperity is encouraged across the whole of Wales, particularly the valleys, and not just concentrated in Cardiff,” he added.

“It’s vital that there are more technology jobs and opportunities created across all areas, in order to support sustained growth throughout the whole of Wales and enable our communities to flourish.”

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